The Collection of the late Ian Askew

at Dreweatts, Donnington Priory, Tuesday 14th April

Donnington Priory -Dreweatts are pleased to announce the sale of furniture, pictures and works of art from The Collection of the late Ian Askew. The auction on Tuesday 14th April at Dreweatts, Donnington Priory saleroom captures Ian Askew's exceptional artistic eye and his greatest passions in life, hunting, antiques and art, dining and his Pugs.

Will Richards, Deputy Chairman at Dreweatts said; "Ian Askew was a well-loved character across his home county of Sussex, with a great generosity of character and legendary sense of humour. We are delighted to present his collection and hope buyers will take the same delight when selecting pieces from his treasured collection."

Ian Askew (1921-2014) was born in to the Rank family, founders of Rank Hovis Mcdougall and manufactures of a vast empire of goods from Hovis bread to Sharwood's spicy sauces. Initially he pursued a career in the military, serving in North Africa and Italy, before his enduring love of antiques drew him into partnership with lifelong friend, John Wilson. Together they founded O.F. Wilson Antiques Ltd on the Fulham Road, a highly successful and pioneering antiques business that served the rich and famous of Chelsea and attracted high profile interior designers from across the globe.

Ian Askew's partnership with O.F. Wilson Antiques Ltd and his natural eye, saw him transform his London and Sussex homes into a diverse treasure trove of antiques covering all styles, tastes and subject matter. The Dreweatts catalogue is formed around the rooms of Ian Askew's home, interspersed with themed sections, including his lifetime companions, Pug dogs.

Leading the section devoted to his favourite dog breed, is an 18th century Italian School oil on canvas titled; An apotheosis of a favourite Pug, [est. £1,500-2,500, Lot 298].

"Oh the Pugs. They were omnipresent - snuffling around - The only silent ones were either those painted or those in ceramics or bronze."

The section also features models of Pugs in ceramic and bronze by Meissen, Derby and an Austrian cold-painted bronze group of a bulldog and Chihuahua, circa 1900 that was reputedly given to Emperor Franz Joseph's vet [est. £400-600, Lot 300].

A keen countryman, Ian Askew was joint master of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt from the mid-1950s and was made president of the hunt in 1968 until his death. Hunting has its own devoted section of 23 lots in the catalogue, stirrup cups modelled on foxes sit beside ceramics, paintings and drawings all centred on country pursuits. Four Hunting Scenes, by Edward Robert Smythe [est. £1,200-1,800, Lot 31] and a Worcester black-printed punch bowl, circa 1770, decorated with hunting scenes [est. £500-800, Lot 22] will be of particular interest to those who share Ian Askew's passion for country life.

Following a distinguished career in the war, where Ian Askew was awarded the Military Cross for disregard of personal danger, he had a brief desire to open a restaurant in London, serving an apprenticeship in the kitchens at the Dorchester Hotel. He instead pursued his interests in the world of antiques but his love of food and entertaining never left him and he channelled this passion into entertaining at his homes in London and Sussex.

"His appreciation of the good things in life lead not only to delicious food but also a handsome display of silver, porcelain and glass on his dining table"

From Ian Askew's dining room are a set of six George III painted hall chairs, circa 1780 that bear the Askew crest [est. £5,000-8,000, Lot 57]. Also offered in the dining room section of the catalogue and featuring the Askew crest is a Chinese porcelain armorial tea caddy from the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong (1736-95) [est. £500-600, Lot 74].

Askew was an active member of both local and county life. Through his positions as High Sherriff of Sussex, Deputy Lieutenant and President of the South of England Show Ian Askew supported many areas of Sussex life.

The Collection of the late Ian Askew, will be offered at Dreweatts Donnington Priory on Tuesday 14th April 2015. The catalogue is available to view online at


Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of Stanley Gibbons we are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin's, and Frasers Autograph's. Established in 1759, we have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry, numbering over 150 per annum, and provide vendors and buyers alike access to market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. We operate from salerooms in Donnington Priory (near Newbury), London's Mayfair, Bristol and Godalming.

Donnington Priory - 16th March 2015